Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
September 20, 2010
WCR deepens vision of spreading Gospel
More and more, our secularized society presents Christianity, especially the Catholic Church, as a dusty old thing that represses human freedom and brings nothing but misery. Given enough time, the Church will fade away in a shiny new world of technological gadgetry and unlimited choice.
The reality, however, is that this viewpoint is the road to destruction. The human person is much more than a garden of pleasant material stimuli and supposedly free responses.
The full truth about the person is that men and women are made for God and made in the image and likeness of God. We have a transcendent destiny, a destiny so fabulous that our present life is, even in its best moments, a shadow of the fullness of life that we will find eternally in Christ. We have a vocation to everlasting joy.
In 1983, Pope John Paul II began to speak of the need for a new evangelization. This new spreading of the Gospel is aimed not at traditional mission countries, but at those societies where the Church has long been established.
The Western Catholic Reporter has long been dedicated to carrying out its role in that new evangelization. As society has changed, the WCR has changed too, striving evermore to be a clear source of lay formation in the 35,000 homes we reach every week.
But, now as the Edmonton Archdiocese itself centres its mission on the new evangelization, through Nothing More Beautiful and its other programs, the WCR needs to revision itself more explicitly in terms of that mission. We have engaged a consultant to lead us through that revisioning.
When Pope John Paul spoke of the new evangelization, he said it is not a simple re-evangelization of Christian countries, but that it is "new in ardour, methods and expression." Nor is its goal the initial proclamation of the Gospel, but rather a new and deeper encounter with the person and message of Jesus Christ.
What methods and expressions are needed for the WCR to be more fully an instrument of the new evangelization? Do we employ approaches from the past that are no longer meaningful or effective? How can we use new technologies to help people raised in a rapidly changing culture to experience the fullness of life in Christ?
These questions demand answers. More so, they demand a response that is systematic and organized. Even further, that response can only come from a media organization that is fully integrated into the Body of Christ.
A major part of this effort to strengthen our new evangelization is to know the needs and desires of our current readers. In the next few months, we will seek your views about the WCR and its future.
We have done this several times in the past. But this time, our readership survey will be integrated into the larger project of revisioning. More than ever, we will need your thoughtful, dedicated response.
A readership survey in the WCR nine years ago drew responses from more than 600 readers, an outstanding response. The survey we conduct this year will be even more important to the future of the newspaper. I hope that every reader will give the time required to complete this survey.
Your response will be important to the mission of our local Church. It will help the WCR present the full truth about the human person in ways that are readily understood. It will help us lead readers to an encounter with Christ. It will, with God's help, plant seeds for a new springtime of the faith in our communities.
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